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Published: April 7th 2008
Day 16 Sunday 7 October
Day of the YMCA
Wake up 7
Today was our day in Tuscany. We drove through the gorgeous Tuscan countryside. Gary took us through back roads that he use to hike through. It was beautiful scenery. We stopped next to a vineyard for a lovely view of San Gimignano from below. The views continued to be beautiful as we made our way up the mountain.
San G was delightful! Right up there with Bruge. It is a 14th Century medieval village. Gary took us on a walk up to the top tower for a gorgeous view. We had a homemade gelati and shopped. I bought some nice ceramics. The church bells were going off for a long time. The sound echoed through all the walls and sounded wonderful. A step back in time.
There were only squat pan toilets here. THAT was a different experience. The old Italian village woman stood there with her payment tray and mop.
We got back on the bus, thinking that not much could top this today, but eager to go onto the next place. A 2 hour drive to Pisa! It was a BEAAUTIFUL
day and the views while driving were stunning. We had to park outside the historical walls and catch a little train in. The sellers were everywhere again. As soon as you enter the walks, the Cathedral, Baptistry and tower are visible, surrounded by market stalls. That’s about all that’s there.
We walked around for a little while, taking our obligatory photos and then met our guide, Roberto, at 3pm. He was an interesting character and very camp. He kept us laughing all afternoon. He kept it all light and entertaining. We went in the church and had our history talk. Roberto pointed out that ALL the buildings in Pisa lean. It was noticeable once pointed out.
We headed off at 4:15pm and it took about 50 minutes to get to the Vineyard for dinner. There was a big wedding taking place. It was great to be immersed in this cultural side. Alexandria gave us some background information on the wine and olives and then we sat down to feast.
The food was not my style, but plentiful and the others were all in food heaven.
There was anti pasta, soup, sheets of pasta and then a mixed grill platter.
There was LOTS of wine, but not very nice. The Dj started up in the little courtyard and we all had a magnificent night dancing. A group of German tourists joined us and we were soon all doing the YMCA and nutbush etc. The Germans were having a blast. Many of the oldies had over indulged in the wine and made for fantastic entertainment. They soon got Gary and Maurizio up to join in with us. Gary commented that he had never seen a tour group get this “into” a night. It took him a long time to round us all up and convince us to head down to the bus. This was such a long day but extremely memorable.
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